Sunday, June 05, 2011

An Overheard Conversation

Last night, after the sun had started setting and the temperature dropped below 95F, Allison and I took Sadie and Kramer (our dogs) out for an evening walk. At one point, we were walking down a long sidewalk that leads to the neighborhood swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts. Across the street on the other sidewalk were three girls who looked to be about 7th or 8th graders wearing bikinis headed towards the pool. A boy around their age was approaching them. As he got closer, he said, "Hey, where are y'all going?" I thought it a dumb question if one considered the three were bikini clad and their direction of travel was in direction intersection with the community pool. One of the girls responded, "Were going to the pool." In my head, I inserted "Duh Huh". The boy then replied, "Cool, can I come?" The girl responded, "Sure!" He then said, "OK, let me go get my swimsuit." And started off towards his house when one of the girls called out, "Bring two more penises!"

Allison and I stopped dead in our tracks. She asked me if she had really heard what she thought she heard. I confirmed the conversation. She then asked if I thought they looked too young to be in High School. I confirmed they looked to be Middle Schoolers at best. We resumed walking the dogs and after a few minutes of quiet reflection, mentally digesting what we had just observed, our conversation picked up on this generation versus ours.

During training for the volunteer position I am beginning, I have learned a lot about how early kids have begun experimenting with sex, drugs, alcohol, and a gamut of other things in life. I have begun to understand how badly today's kids need positive role models. TV and movies certainly are not providing them. Their peers are not providing them. So, I guess it is up to us.

It is high time for a change in our priorities. It is not all about us. How can we make a difference? What can we do for one that we would like to do for all? What can we do this week to have a positive influence on today's kids?



Ben said...

I wish I could say "it gets better with maturity," but without you, without any of the volunteers pouring truth in these kids lives, it doesn't.

Welcome to Transit, and the craziness that is Middle School...

Allen Madding said...

Thanks, Ben. I am grateful that I can add you to the experienced Transit leaders that I have access to as I adjust to this role.


Unknown said...

That blindsided me. Wow. There are so many questions I have for those girls - what did that mean? Well, I know my friends said a lot of strange things at that age, too, so maybe it was nothing.

BUT, you're totally right - moral bankruptcy and all that. There are a lot of great values out there, but it seems like there's no middle ground. Crazy on one side, crazy on the other, where do the kids fit in?

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Madding:

I'm not really surprised. A casually scanning of the stuff on TV these days reveals just how heavily stuff of an extreme sexual nature is being pushed on younger and younger audiences. What you saw was the tip of the iceberg.

While television is the marketing tool that shovels this crap at the speed of light, every hand-held computer and cell phone is placing options, and bad ideas, into the heads of kids incapable of making a truly rational decision.

I live in the heart of one of the wealthiest communities in the east coast... And I am encountering a class of well-to-do barely adolescents who have shit for brains. They can identify a real or cloned handbag at 400 yards at the mall, but can't tell you how many stars are on the American Flag.

And any kid with access to a computer can watch Brittany Spears giving some guy a hummer.

I recently met a person with an MBA who didn't know who Ghandi was. Every aging generation believes the next one is morally bankrupt or phenomenaly stupid? But have we reached a point where education is too specialized? Have we arrived at a place in time where marketing supercedes ethics? And are we breeding a generation where political correctness has replaced a healthy degree of skepticism?

What's need (in my opinion) is not a movement like prohibition, but a little healthy backlash to the vampires on Madison Avenue, Wall Street, Hollywood, and the White House.

Good luck with this.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Unknown said...

I have a 14 year old daughter and a 21 year old son, I think it's a lost battle trying to keep them away from that stuff when in school they learn how to slip a condom. They learn about kissing (BJ) each other you know where at an early age, most parents wouldn't know how to stop a porno video from showing up on a simple internet search in any case. With computers, phones, books, MMS (pics) it's impossible to control. If you block it at home they simply go to their friends house and see it there. It's only going to get worse by the way :-(

irondad said...

I admire you for actually trying to do something instead of merely pointing out the problem.

Sometimes it feels like we're emptying a lake with a dixie cup, though, doesn't it?

Allen Madding said...

Brady - It completely blindsided me. Maybe I can be some good middle ground to the kids I am going to me working with for the next 3 yrs.

Jack - It is overwhelming when you consider the influences the kids today are exposed to. I have to wonder how we would have developed in todays culture.

George - Having read the end of the book (Revelation) I agree with you. It's only gonna get worse. I worry even more for the kids of the next generation that these kids will be raising.

Irondad - Definately a dixie cup draining experience. But Andy Stanley said something a couple of months ago that has really stuck with me. It was along this line, quit worrying about what you would like to do for all and cannot do, just do for one what you wish you could do for all. So, maybe I can do for 15-18 what I wish I could do for all.


chris said...

I think we need to invest more time in our kids, it would make a huge difference. Great post Allen!!

Bucky said...

Our children are taught in public schools and elsewhere that they are mere animals, evolved from lower life forms. The child then behaves as an animal.

We cannot expect a child so taught to realize that he is special, that he has been created, that he has a soul, and that morality is the basis of civil societies.

This began several decades ago, and has continued -- and accelerated -- in recent years. The topmost leaders of our country are immoral and secular.

I believe the end times are coming upon us, and they will be as described in the Bible.

Meanwhile, we must continue to educate our children in the right ways, as you have been doing.